ABOUT THIS BOOK
Before the Civil War, a new idea of womanhood took shape in America in general and in the Northeast in particular. Women of the propertied classes assumed the mantle of moral guardians of their families and the nation. Laboring women, by contrast, continued to suffer from the oppressions of sex and class. In fact, their very existence troubled their more prosperous sisters, for the impoverished female worker violated dearly held genteel precepts of 'woman's nature' and 'woman's place.'
City of Women delves into the misfortunes that New York City's laboring women suffered and the problems that resulted. Looking at how and why a community of women workers came into existence, Christine Stansell analyzes the social conflicts surrounding laboring women and they social pressure these conflicts brought to bear on others. The result is a fascinating journey into economic relations and cultural forms that influenced working women's lives—one that reveals at last the female city concealed within America's first great metropolis.